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when there will be a need. >> suarez: with today's escalation, egypt pressed for an end to the israeli air strikes. today, palestinian president mahmoud abbas asked the arab league to call an urgent meeting to discuss the strikes, and united nations chief ban ki-moon called for a "de-escalation of tensions." >> suarez: for more, i'm joined by phone with sheera frenkel, middle east correspondent for the "times of london" in jerusalem. sheera, we reported on the rising tensions between the israelis and the palestinians in gaza. but was there something in particular that set this off? >> in the last three or four hours that there have been a slowdown in hostilities between israel and the gaza strip. in fact, earlier in today there had been no exchanges of violence across the border. but when i spoke to officials about why they decided to start targeted assassinations and launch the operation in gaza, their answer was actually intelligence data they had received that militants in gaza had been smuggling in more high tech weapons and that it would really create damage to the military arsena
. >> brown: meanwhile, the new islamist president of egypt mohamed morsi denounced the israelis. and his government asked the u.s. to press for an end to the offensive. but the obama administration lined up with the israelis. state department spokesman mark toner said the u.s. believes israel has the right to defend itself. >> our position is clear that there's no justification for the violence that hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against israel. and the onus is on them to cease their rocket attacks so that this de-escalation can take place. >> suarez: earlier, i spoke with the israeli ambassador to the united states michael oren to discuss the latest developments. ambassador, what's the latest from tel aviv? where the strikes accurate? have missiles actually hit the city and is anyone snurt >> thankfully nobody was hurt. the rockets struck in the greater tel aviv area. the alarms went off. the sirens, prime minister netanyahu was in the city at the time to a bomb shelter and now this simply means that 4.5 million israelis-- over half the population of the state of
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